Is cycling good for arthritis?

Arthritis is a common joint disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It causes inflammation, pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion in the affected joints. While there are several treatments available for arthritis, many people turn to physical activities to alleviate the symptoms. One such activity is cycling. But the question is – is cycling good for arthritis?

The Benefits of Cycling for Arthritis

Research shows that cycling is an excellent low-impact exercise for people with arthritis. It can help to reduce pain, ease inflammation, and increase the range of motion in the affected joints. Cycling can also strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, which can help to support and protect them.

According to a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, cycling can improve the function, flexibility, and overall well-being of people with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study found that people who cycled for 30 minutes three times a week for eight weeks experienced a significant reduction in pain and stiffness, as well as an increase in their overall quality of life.

Cycling vs. Other Physical Activities

While cycling is a great exercise for people with arthritis, it is important to note that other physical activities can also be beneficial. For instance, swimming, walking, and yoga are low-impact activities that can help to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.

Cycling Precautions for People with Arthritis

While cycling is generally safe for people with arthritis, there are some precautions that should be taken to avoid injury or exacerbation of symptoms. Firstly, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercise over time. Secondly, it is crucial to use proper equipment, such as a well-fitting bike and shoes, to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the joints.

Cycling Tips for People with Arthritis

Here are some tips to help people with arthritis get the most out of cycling:

Tips Description
Adjust the bike Ensure that the bike is adjusted properly to fit your body and minimize stress on the joints.
Warm-up and stretch Take some time to warm up and stretch before cycling to increase blood flow and flexibility in the joints.
Choose flat or gently sloping routes Avoid steep or uneven terrain that can put undue stress on the joints.
Use a lower gear Use a lower gear to reduce the stress on the joints and make cycling easier.
Ice the joints After cycling, apply ice to any sore or inflamed joints to reduce inflammation and pain.


In conclusion, cycling is a great low-impact exercise that can be beneficial for people with arthritis. It can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness, as well as improve overall function and quality of life. However, it is important to take precautions and follow proper techniques to avoid injury and exacerbation of symptoms. If you have arthritis and want to try cycling, be sure to consult with your doctor or physical therapist first to ensure that it is safe for you.